To no one's surprise, Pope Francis was TIME's Person of the Year for 2013. The award honored the man who is spiritual leader to more than a billion Catholics.
While I have great respect for Francis, my "person of the year" is Billy Graham. In his 95 years, Dr. Graham has preached the gospel to nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries. "My Hope With Billy Graham" came to America last month, combining primetime television broadcasts with in-home groups. This strategy has now been used in 58 countries since 2002, leading more than 10 million people to Christ.
I will never forget meeting Billy Graham 12 years ago. He was one of the most humble, gracious people I've ever known. And yet I sensed a holiness, reverence and serenity I had never encountered before. Since we began this ministry five years ago, we have sought to follow his example in three ways.
First, he has always used the latest technology to serve the Kingdom, from radio to television, magazines, webcasts and social media. His latest strategy is reaching more people than anything he has ever done. In the same way, our ministry uses the Internet, email, RSS feeds, radio interviews, speaking events, books, newspaper and magazine articles, YouTube videos, Facebook and Twitter to speak God's truth to our culture.
Second, Dr. Graham has consistently connected God's word with contemporary issues. His sermons always began by referring to that day's news and challenges, then showed that God and his word are relevant to every problem. In the same way, we strive to engage our culture by speaking God's word to the issues of our day.
Third, Dr. Graham's financial model has been essential to his ministry's integrity. Rather than profit personally from crusade offerings, he has drawn a salary from the ministry. His financial partners have enabled him to give his message free of charge to the world.
Our supporters help us do the same. Each day, the Cultural Commentary is sent, free of charge, to more than 87,000 readers in 203 countries. We can give this essay and our other online resources without charge because our readers provide the finances which make our ministry possible. Our team has no source of support except those who choose to help us.
Would you help us speak God's word to our culture? If you have supported us in the past, know that we are deeply grateful and hope you'll be able to partner with us again this year. If you've not supported our ministry before, please know that every dollar will help us share God's word with the world. If you can't make a large donation today, perhaps you'd consider a recurring gift; $84 a month would provide $1,000 a year to help our work.
Would you ask God if he wants you to partner with us in sharing his word with our world? If he leads you to help us, please send a tax-deductible contribution to the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, 17304 Preston Road, Suite 1060, Dallas, TX 75252. Or you can click on this link to make a secure online donation.
However God directs you, know that I am honored to share this ministry with you. May the Father richly bless you and yours, today and in the year to come.
Publication date: December 30, 2013